Meet the Staff

Phil Rash

Phil discovered Leatherwood in 1992 through his love of horses. On many Fridays, he would drive 8 hours from his home in Ohio to spend a weekend at Leatherwood and be back at his business on Monday morning. After selling his business in 1997, Phil returned to his home state of North Carolina to Leatherwood Mountains and helped establish Leatherwood’s successful Resort business. Because of his love of Leatherwood and the many friends he has made here, he decided to form a partnership and purchase the resort in 2004. He and his wife Susan spend their time between  Leatherwood and their Virginia residence on the New River.  In the summer of 2017 Phil sold his portion of the business to his protege, Abbie Hanchey.  He remains active in the business as a consultant and mentor to Abbie & Trevor.

Phil Whitson

Phil and his wife, Connie raised their three sons on a small horse farm in Newell, NC. In 1991, when friends introduced them to Leatherwood, they immediately became a part of the community. They became full-time residents in 1998 and have never looked back! Phil’s time is divided between his career of law and real estate, and his hobbies of woodworking and horse training (he often conducts “horse whisper” clinics at Leatherwood). In 2004, Phil was delighted to accept Phil Rash’s offer to join him as co-owner of Leatherwood outside the gate. He believes the blend of mountain beauty, wonderful people, and pretty horses make Leatherwood Mountains the ultimate place to be! In the Summer of 2017 Phil sold his portion of the business to his Son, Trevor.  Phil is confident that the future of Leatheorwod is bright and in capable hands with Whitson & Hanchey at the helm!

Hugh & Abbie Hanchey – Owner & Managing Partner

Events and Marketing Director & Managing Partner

Hugh & Abbie Hanchey

Family ties and a true love for the community have kept Abbie & Hugh involved with Leatherwood for many years. This husband and wife team have built their lives around the resort. Their love of horses has fueled the passion that they both have for this amazing place. Hugh has been operating the equine facility for several years now while Abbie has headed up the Marketing & Event Planning for Leatherwood. Early Spring 2017, Hugh was offered a position with the Northwest YMCA as the facilities director.  Hugh remains active as a consultant &  silent partner with Abbie & Trevor and you will still see his smiling face around Leatherwood.  Abbie took over as Managing Partner and Owner in the business with longtime friend Trevor Whitson in July of 2017. The Hanchey’s both feel blessed to live, work and be raising their sons, Holt and Smith in such a beautiful environment.

Trevor Whitson – Owner & Managing Partner

Leatherwood Homes & Land Sales, LLC.

Trevor Whitson grew up in North Carolina and is a graduate of Appalachian State University. Some of his passions in life are working with people, traveling, golf and getting to spend his free time in the mountains with his beautiful family. After spending a few years in Charlotte working in both the mortgage and real estate industries, coming to Leatherwood as a real estate broker made perfect sense. “I really love getting the opportunity to help people discover their dreams of owning a mountain home, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to do it!”. Trevor and his wife Caroline have a beautiful daughter named Cecelia.  In July of 2017 he and his lifelong friend, Abbie Hanchey purchased the Business. Trevor feels incredibly blessed to live and work in such an amazing place!

Jill Canup

Marketing Specialist & Administrative Assistant

Jill brings a high level of professionalism, knowledge, and customer service to all that we offer here at Leatherwood. She joined our team several years ago as our marketing specialist and administrative assistant. Jill grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and now resides in Monroe, with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Her family fell in love with Leatherwood Mountains’ natural beauty & horseback riding opportunities. Jill’s parents live in Leatherwood full time, so she loves coming to visit frequently!

Susan Bridgers

Rental Manager

Drawn to Leatherwood by its pristine beauty and a kindred spirit, Sue knew that this would someday be her home. In 2000, she and her husband, David, moved here and she joined the staff as rental manager. Each time a guest arrives, she sees on their faces that same excitement as they experience the magic of this place. What a joy it is for her to live and work in this “little corner of heaven on earth” called Leatherwood!

Wayne Morefield

Facility Maintenance Manager

Wayne Morefield is the head of Maintenance here at Leatherwood Mountains Resort. He joined our team several years ago and has become an integral part of our company.  In addition to helping us at Leatherwood, Wayne is a plumber by trade and serves on the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department.  We are proud to have Wayne in our Leatherwood Family!

Susan Saunders

Reservation Specialist & Office Manager – Equine Center

A great love of the mountains and trail riding led to a move to Ferguson from Charlotte and a job in banking in 1999. Susan joined Leatherwood in 2005 and wears multiple hats, functioning as Head Receptionist and Office Manager for the Leatherwood Horse Facility and Cantina/Gift Shop. She and husband Bob have raised and shown Arabian horses since 1981. Her horses have claimed many Regional wins and several National Top 10’s. She is shown riding her Arab gelding KK Warlord + at one of NCHC’s spring trail rides. Susan believes that riding the Leatherwood trails greatly contributes to a levelheaded show horse and the all-important “one-on one” relationship you need with your horse. She enjoys meeting new people and is amazed at the “old acquaintances” that seem to show up here.

Ashley Key

Reservation Specialist

Ashley was born and raised within Wilkes County, with her grandmother living just a mile down the road from Leatherwood Mountains. She joined the Leatherwood team at 16 years old as a part-time waitress for our on-site restaurant Saddlebrook Bar & Grill. She became a full-time staff member as a reservationist in the summer of 2020. Ashley has been in love with the beauty and serenity of Leatherwood Mountains since her first visit, and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.

Carolyn Dyer

Reservation Specialist

Carolyn brings over two decades of dedicated service to Leatherwood, where she currently serves as one of our esteemed front desk receptionists. With her warm demeanor, unwavering helpfulness, and genuine kindness, she ensures every guest receives a warm welcome and exceptional assistance during their visit.

Equine Staff

Meet the dedicated equine team at Leatherwood Mountains Resort, committed to delivering exceptional care for our beloved horses and ensuring an unforgettable experience for our guests exploring Leatherwood on horseback!

Housekeeping Staff

Our dedicated housekeeping staff goes the extra mile to make your Leatherwood Mountains Resort stay an exceptional experience. Our wonderful crew of cleaners continuously strive for excellence. We appreciate all they do to make Leatherwood Mountains Resort vacation paradise!

Saddlebrook Staff

Southern Hospitality & a wonderful atmosphere are the key ingredients in creating a fabulous dining experience for our guests! The staff at Saddlebrook Bar & Grill strive to keep their customers coming back for more! Leatherwood Mountains Resort is grateful for it’s dedicated team of restaurant employees! You will love what they serve you!

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